Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs)

04 Jun 2016 21:56

See exponential families and network data analysis, naturally.

Around 2011, I set out to show that maximum likelihood estimation is consistent for ERGMs, because they seemed like the best kind of network model going. Doing so radically changed my perspective on these models; for instance, I became convinced that maximum likelihood generally isn't consistent, because these models aren't even self-consistent about what happens as we see more data. But that story is a little long to tell here; see here, or just read the paper.

Although many of the relevant papers appear in the journal Social Networks, published by Elsevier, a company known to also publish advertising disguised as peer-reviewed scientific journals (e.g., The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine), I know of no particular reason to believe that their findings are actually meretricious propaganda on behalf of a paying client. It would, however, be better if the community would shift to a journal whose publisher did not pollute the process of scientific communication whenever it was profitable to do so.